Martini: Shaken or Stirred?

Our gallery welcomes the iconic drink Martini into our midst. Martini is a subtle work taken in the low light of a very classy antique hotel lobby. It simply resounds in decadence and cultural sophistication.

Indeed the martini is a famous cocktail drink of the 19th-20th centuries. It’s invention is much like the hot dog or hamburger,  so many stories exist of its creation we may never know the truth.

The most famous drinker of this smooth concoction is of course Ian Fleming’s James Bond.   Few characters in literature or silver screen have done more for a cocktail.

However, in typical Hollywood style, the directors of the movies managed to mess with the traditional recipe offered up in the first book Casino Royale.

Olive or lemon twist?

Truthfully, the drink that Bond partakes of is a martini called the “Vesper” after the love interest in the book.

The Vesper is:

  • 3 parts Gordon’s Gin
  • 1 part Russian or Polish Vodka
  • ½ part of Lillet wine

Shaken until ice-cold and served with a lime wedge.

After the 1st book , Mr. Bond starts ordering strictly vodka martinis.

The next question to pop into mind is over the controversy of “Shaken not stirred”. Martini purists cringe at this thought because it will bruise the gin. The truth is that they are right, however, there is a hidden cost at stirring the drink and not shaking it.

When you shake a Martini, you manage to actually cool the gin and vermouth to an ice-cold temperature in just seconds. You save your martini from being diluted with melting ice. However, you will add air bubbles to your gin, thus slightly altering the taste and texture of the martini.

If you want to stir your martini, then you will need about 2 minutes of stirring to reach the temperature achieved by shaking. If you wish to keep the texture of the Martini, you will prolong the contact of the gin with the ice thus the melting ice will dilute the gin.

So, the choice is yours, do you like your martini slightly fizzy and cold, or cold and watery. Either way the classic Martini is :

  • 2-1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounces dry vermouth
  • Green olive or lemon twist


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